The newly released Tokidoki Platinum doll is the talk of the town. some call it “TokiJoki” –Joki is “Joke” in Latvian.
I was asked to air my opinions, so I am stepping on the soap box , lol
1. The Doll: The package & body tattoos look colorful, the color palette is nice, too. but the design of the doll is simple, her hairstyle, dress, facial paint all can be done by an amateur without professional trainings. The bodice of the dress is a piece of stretchy sequined fabric with a plastic “bra” (the same plastic form that comes with playline fashion pack) underneath to keep shape. not much tailoring or sewing work is needed.
2. Why Platinum?
Ultra Limited edition carries a sense of immediacy and exclusivity, When Demand is 10 times greater than Supply, Barbie stirs up a storm among the collectors and catches all the attention–possibly new potential customers who would extend the market.
The driving force to pursuit a platinum doll may come from the sense of pride of having rare dolls in one’s collections; the love of the doll design itself, or the desire to make profits on the 2ndary market… whichever it is, the enthusiasm is good for a brand.
3. Is it a Fair Game?
Pre-registration, lottery, changing sales time to midnight, opening to BFC member only… you name it, people have different “fair” ideas but..
There is NO “fair-to-everyone” way to distribute 999 dolls if 9,999 people want it. you may say, “I m a paid member”, someone may say, “I don’t pay $25 membership, but I spend $2500 on BC website every year…”
Life is not fair, Prince George and Princess Charlotte could buy out all 999 platinum or Mattel may want to give them for free and you have to compete with thousands of other shoppers to have Mattel accept your hard-earn $75
Life is fair, everyone has his chances. all crowds flood to the same bug-filled website TheBarbieCollection.com
4. What Happened?
Mattel played a little head game with collectors: “Treasure Hunt” , the purpose was to slow you down and make the “check-out” procedure easier for others. if thousands of shoppers hit the check-out at the same time, the site may crash, so Mattel sent you on a hunting trip. if you took the trick, most likely, you didn’t stand a chance to get the doll. people who fully understood the purpose of “hunting” did not hunt. hunter Vs. hacker (well, I can not call them hackers, it doesn’t need that much high IQ lol)
5. Where were you?
I saw many postings on BFC forum such as “I stayed in waiting room over night” “I was sent to buy the Pink Label, not the Platinum label” — you were not in the right waiting room. BC loaded a Clock Countdown page, some people kept the page open until the sales began. but that page would not automatically lead you to the right waiting room & right doll, it would go to the Tokidoki Product page. There was a hidden Countdown page opened at the same time, you could see <title>the Barbie Collection Waiting Room<title> in the source files — that was the right page would ultimately lead you to the Platinum doll.
6. Should you be upset?
you have the right to be upset as you didn’t get what you truly wanted. but how crazy should you go? Making phone calls to harass BC customer Service Reps; threatening BFC you will not join the Fan Club next year; cursing eBay sellrs or praising how FR dolls are better than Barbie…. these are unnecessary. You probably have one thousand dolls in your house and you’ve never had time to take a second look at them after your purchases, you really don’t need another doll. Besides, if you keep crying for not seeing today’s Sunset, you’ll be missing out tonight’s Moonrise. So, you need to patch up the pieces of your “broken heart” and figure out how you can do better when next platinum comes around.
7. Epic Fail or Great Success
Different perspectives: many collectors who failed to obtain the doll called it “Epic Fail”, Mattel Sales Team might have a celebration party: all the dolls were sold, the site did NOT crash –it was a great victory.
8. True/Real Collectors Vs. Scalpers
We see the hatred towards eBay sellers who try to sell the platinum doll at higher prices, some people label themselves as “True (real) Collectors”, eBay sellers as “Scalpers” .
Platinum Barbie is a collectible item, what kinds of buyers make up a collectible market? 2 types of them:
- a. collecting the item for their own pleasure (enjoyment)
- b. collecting the item for profitable Resale (Investment)
They both help to form and boost Barbie Market; you are not more decent only b/c you take the dolls to your grave and never sell them, an eBay seller has no less integrity only b/c he treats Barbie like Stocks on Wall Street. its a free market. it would be different if he steals bread and milk from your plate for sale and leave you to starve to death.
you may blame & hate “scalpers”, the question is, can Barbie afford to lose them? I don’t know if Mattel’s marketing experts study how important 2ndary market is to collectible Barbie, I am guessing the brand would lose 20%-30% annual sales without the 2ndary market sellers’ help with quick turnarounds. Many dealers, toy stores and department stores have dropped Collectible Barbie for good, eBay and amazon sellers help to reach unreachable. have you sold dolls on eBay to buy new dolls? if you have, it also counts as a contribution the 2ndary market made to Barbie sales. Without an active 2ndary market, not a single Collectible item can survive in long term. .
There is always a limit, how much is too much, let market decide. when a seller puts a $4,750 tag on a $75 doll, he also puts a “Greed” label on his own face, that is not a pretty image, and it hurts business.
Mattel needs to keep balance between these 2 types of collectors when there are conflicts. the goal is to keep them both around. Like any business, “Scalpers” have risks, too, we get angry when “Scalpers” sell dolls at high prices, but how many times we bought the dolls at much lower prices from them? I remember an eBay seller bought a bunch of Mackie’s Banana doll, but none of them was re-sold at high prices. so he lost some money If 9 out of 10 dolls the sellers buy from Mattel are not profitable, they will lose interests and leave. Sometimes Mattel should manipulate the market and let them make a little profits.
Take the 50th Skipper doll as an example, if other stores got the inventory at the same time as BC did, not long after, this doll would not have given an impression “hard-to-get” or “sold out”, as 2ndary market sellers had plenty of her to go around. She wasn’t really sold out…more were on the way.. Was the decision to make a consoling doll (Brunette) necessary? My personal opinion is NO, Mattel should have moved on to other dolls, and leave the Skipper to the 2ndary Market sellers. now neither the blonde nor the brunette is worth much, a saturated market is never good for collectibles. its important to leave room for demand & desire.
As a buyer, a doll is only worth as much as you like to pay for it, you have more power than sellers
9. The Future
I presume Mattel will continue offering Platinum dolls. if you have tried many times but never had A chance to acquire one, perhaps you need to improve your techniques. A few things you can do
- Be informative and resourceful: make sure you know the time and date the doll will go on sale, if its not an exclusive, you should also check out the distribution channels. Many collectors were unable to obtain the doll during BC sales on Sept 1, but they got their 2nd chance on Sept. 8th, when TRU online put her on sale around 4PM EST, some people ordered it from Harrods online and some ordered from French Amazon, etc.
- Be prepared: The BC site does not run smoothly, when a big sales comes, you need to find out if your can navigate the site without issues. you may also want to set up quick check-out to speed up your purchase. I always run a test on the night before the platinum sales. when Tokidoki went on sale, I tried to help a friend by sending her the link to the purple doll, she tried 10 minutes but was not able to check out on her phone and laptop. the doll was in her shopping cart, the system repeatedly bumped her out and asked her to sign in again & again. then the sales was over. she might have been able to check-out if she cleared caches and cookies before sales started.
- Stay connected: its an internet era, you may be not internet sassy, but if you have 1000 Facebook friends, then, one dozen of them may be quite knowledgeable at what to do. if you are in the online groups, many group members post updates constantly, following BFC’s tweets on Twitter helps, too.
- Arrange a Trade: if you have tons of older issues at home, you can easily find many of them have the same market value as the new Platinum, arrange a trade with someone who has the Platinum but prefers to have the older issue to trade with,
- Keep Calm & be optimistic: It’s just a doll… there will always be a better doll waiting for you in the future. and appreciate what you have—the Pink Tokidoki is so much fun: